T-Ray Vision. T-rays can penetrate many materials with non-damaging radiation and give highly detailed images, such as this slice of a tooth. A team has now produced high power, high quality T-rays for research.
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X-rays may be as familiar as your local dentist's office or airport security checkpoint, but it's unlikely that you've ever encountered a powerful T-ray—a beam of terahertz radiation. This long-wavelength infrared light could be used for a host of possible applications, but until recently, it's been impossible to generate strong enough beams. In 2003, researchers used a linear accelerator to generate the most powerful T-ray beam ever made. Now, in results announced in March 2003, researchers described a way to produce a more stable and useful beam. They modified an electron storage ring--a facility for producing powerful x rays--to produce high-power T-rays. The results prove that a planned, dedicated T-ray facility in the US is realistic.